The High-Tech Career Handbook
|A weekly ComputorEdge Column by Douglas E. Welch|
Stop! 3 things to stop doing today
August 10, 2001
** Listen to this column on your computer, iPod or other audio player **
It can be very difficult to see the forest
for the trees when you are involved in a day-to-day battle to maintain
and develop your high-tech career. Layoffs abound. Project work is drying
up. The computer industry is in turmoil. Who has time to worry about the
rest of the world when you are just trying to keep your boss happy or
your clients off your back? In truth, you need to make the time to constantly
evaluate your position in your career and do those things that need to
be done to insure that you are moving forward in your career and your
life. As a way to jolt you into thinking more about your career and less
about your current job, here are 3 things you need to stop doing today.
1. Stop ignoring problems
Too often technology workers are more inclined
to “keep their heads down” instead of addressing problems
that exist in their department or company. No good can ever come from
ignoring these issues, whether they involve buggy software, failing systems
or poor workplace ethics. You might think that raising these issues makes
you a target for layoff or dismissal should you break the office taboo
and actually try and address them. Is this any worse, though, than allowing
a problem to continue that can bring down the entire company? The result
is the same either way; you are out of work.
If you are facing harassment, abusive or unethical
behavior or outright illegal activities, don’t ignore them and hope
they go away. I can guarantee you, they won’t. They will fester
like a bad infection until they explode and tarnish the reputation of
everyone involved with the company.
2. Stop applying bandages to problems
More than ever before you need to understand
that bandaging a problem instead of solving it is a downward spiral. Sometimes
technology needs to be abandoned, thrown out entirely, when it doesn’t
work. It doesn’t matter if the CEO thinks it is a great idea, if
the technology doesn’t work, get rid of it. This may take some great
persuasive skills, but it is very much worth the effort. In most cases,
showing how much money is being lost is often enough to sway even the
most rabid executive fan. Of course, if a technology is being used because
it is made by the CEO’s brother, you may have a more difficult path.
The truth is, though, if your company is making technology decisions based
on family relationships, you don’t want to work there. Get out!
The company is doomed to mediocrity if not outright failure.
3. Stop creating problems
You need to look at your own behavior over the last year and take note of any time when you became the biggest problem in your career. Have you become disengaged at your job, merely marking time from 9 to 5? Are you engaging in behavior that you would resent in others? Have you given up on any hope of ever finding a job you like?
If you are facing any of these questions, get out! Find a job, a career and a life that mean something to you. You are doing no one, especially yourself, any favors by continuing this death march. Worse yet, you may be irreparably damaging your career and your life by remaining in a job you hate. It can be frightening. It can be painful. It can be a struggle, but no more so than your day-to-day dislike of your current job. Action will always feel better than inaction, even if it does have its associated fear.
Support the Career-Op Podcast
Get your copy today!